Working Papers

2021-04 | February 2021


Parents in a Pandemic Labor Market

Author(s): Olivia Lofton, Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau, and Lily Seitelman

Gender gaps in labor market outcomes during the pandemic are largely due to differences across parents: Employment and labor force participation fell much less for fathers as compared to women and non-parent men at the onset of the pandemic; the recovery has been more pronounced for men and women without children, and; the labor force participation rate of mothers has resumed declining following the start of the school year. The latter is partially offset in states with limited school re-openings. Evidence suggests flexibility in setting work schedules offsets some of the adverse impact of the pandemic on mothers’ employment, while the ability to work from home does not.

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Article Citation

Lofton, Olivia, Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau, and Lily Seitelman. 2021. "Parents in a Pandemic Labor Market," Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2021-04. Available at